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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Briefly... on The Great Gatsby trailer

Film Flam Flummox

Ever since I witnessed the unveiling of first tantalizing tastes of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby at CinemaCon 2012 last April, I have been eagerly anticipating the mad Aussie's 3D take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel--anticipation that only grew when Warner Bros. pushed back the release date from an awards-baiting Holiday 2012 berth to an early summer 2013 release date. Usually such a major release shift denotes some sort of trouble, but moving a period romance from a more drama-friendly season to ultracompetitive summer suggests that Warner Bros. sees the film as one that could go over with the masses--which is what happened when Fox did a nearly identical rescheduling move a dozen years earlier with Luhrmann's (now-widely beloved) Moulin Rouge!. Judging by the newest and final official trailer for the film before the May 10 opening, I can see this potentially being the date movie for the season. As with nearly all late campaign trailers, this new one is more conventionally dialogue- and plot-heavy than all previous teasers and spots for the film, but 45 seconds in, a more familiarly, distinctly Luhrmann vibe takes over: clever, unconventional, yet pitch-perfect music choices playing against grandiose costumes and production design that serves as a backdrop to unabashedly outsized, often operatic emotion, best exemplified by the electric, soulful looks of longing exchanged between a truly radiant Carey Mulligan as Daisy and Leonardo DiCaprio comfortably slipping back into his long-neglected romantic lead shoes as the title character. If there's any disappointment with this particular spot, it's the absence of Indian screen legend Amitabh Bachchan (in, shockingly as it may seem, his Hollywood debut), who was prominently featured in previous trailers. But for the home stretch of the campaign, it is a wise choice to push the romantic hook and push it hard--and I am not ashamed to admit that my inner sap is already swooning. But we shall see if the finished product is akin to a romantic evergreen like Moulin Rouge! or a gorgeous but only sporadically effective and affecting Australia when The Great Gatsby opens in cinemas everywhere on Friday, May 10.

Buy The Great Gatsby movie poster here.
Buy The Great Gatsby soundtrack here.

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